President Bush continues to push the U.S. toward an unnecessary war with Iran, using manufactured “intelligence” to lie to the American people. Bush has said he favors negotiation, but expects Iran to give in to all his demands before we sit down to negotiate. Previous attempts by Iran to open diplomatic communications, including a personal letter to Bush from Iran’s president, have been brushed aside.
At the behest of the White House, the House Intelligence Committee prepared a report on Iran’s nuclear capabilities, which even American intelligence officials admit contains at least a dozen unsupportable claims. Now the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has publicly blasted the report, in a letter to the committee chairman. The letter does not mince words, accusing the report of containing “erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated statements.” For example, the House committee report claims Iran is currently producing “weapons-grade uranium.” Weapons-grade uranium must be enriched to 90-percent purity; Under IAEA supervision, Iran has enriched uranium only to 3.5 percent purity, suitable only for use in power-generating reactors.
In addition to overstating and misrepresenting Iran’s capabilities, the committee report openly accuses IAEA of distorting its own reports in favor of Iran. IAEA called those claims “outrageous and dishonest.” The House committee report was written by a cohort of U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, and approved by Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte, who, in a just world would be in prison for crimes against humanity.
This isn’t the first time the Bush Regime has clashed with IAEA. During the run-up to the Iraq War, IAEA exposed as forgeries documents Bush claimed proved Iraq was embarked on a nuclear-weapons program, despite warnings from friendly foreign intelligence agencies that the documents were suspect. The Bush Regime unsuccessfully tried to smear IAEA Director Mohammed AlBaradei, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to prevent the unnecessary, misrepresented and mishandled Bush war against Iraq.
Iran has more than once expressed willingness to negotiate with the United States, but will not end its uranium-enrichment program as a condition of those negotiations. Worth noting is that it did not recommence enrichment until after Bush refused its earlier attempt at re-establishing diplomatic ties: In 2003, the Swiss, who act as go-betweens for the U.S. and Iran, forwarded such a letter from Iran to our State Department. The U.S.’s response was to criticize the Swiss ambassador to Tehran for getting involved in “our” problems! Yet Bush never tires of saying Iran poses a threat to the entire world. A former nuclear inspector put it succinctly: “This is like prewar Iraq all over again. You have an Iranian nuclear threat that is spun up, using bad information that’s cherry-picked and a report that trashes the inspectors.”